Folly at West Burton (Yorkshire Dales) by Shaun Whiteman


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Folly at West Burton (Yorkshire Dales) by 

Taken with a Canon 50D, Sigma 10-20 lens at 10mm, F11, shutter speed 1/80 second, ISO100, tweaked in Photoshop

I uploaded a similar shot to this before but was never happy with it, so I have had another bash, a bit of Photoshop work to bring out the details in the Folly and that’s about it.

In the 18th and 19th Centuries Wensleydale was thriving. Scores of lead mines were in full production and a busy railway ran the length of the Dale. The sheep were eating grass and getting fat as if there was no tomorrow (which for them there probably wasn’t). In this entrepreneurial climate, and encouraged by the writings of Jules Verne, civic leaders embarked on a project that would ultimately be known as The Great Wensleydale Moonshot Fiasco.
The technology of the time and the limited availability of suitable materials meant that the rocket ship was constructed from local stone. It was ‘manned’ by goats, these creatures being considered more nimble in zero gravity and more adaptable in diet than sheep. Despite the ready availability of gunpowder from the lead mines the eight hundred ton stone rocket ship could not be persuaded to leave the ground for longer than two seconds. Many brave goats gave their lives in vain before the project was abandoned, and the distinctive stringy smoked donar kebab of the district remains to this day a local delicacy. The rocket ship still stands in lower Wensleydale, a monument to man’s folly, in the shadow of the West Burton TV transmitter.

How mad is that???

PS I don’t care if the above is true or not, it made me laugh ;-)

Please view large


west, burton, yorkshire, dales, folly


  • Martina Fagan
    Martina Faganalmost 5 years ago

    Beautifully serene Shaun
    love the story too

  • FelicityB
    FelicityBalmost 5 years ago

    Fantastic bit of history, beautiful shot

  • Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©
    Catherine Hami...almost 5 years ago

    This is lovely work Shaun.x

  • PhotogeniquE IPA
    PhotogeniquE IPAalmost 5 years ago

    totally crazy – two stops past Barking!!
    very atmospheric image though.

  • RajeevKashyap
    RajeevKashyapalmost 5 years ago

    Absolutely beautiful

  • karenbrodie
    karenbrodiealmost 5 years ago

    Wonderful colour in the sky, love it :)

  • Béla Török
    Béla Törökalmost 5 years ago

    Splendid capture, Shaun!

  • Lori Peters
    Lori Petersalmost 5 years ago

    A rocket to nowhere?? Great find and picture, Shaun. xo

  • Scott  d'Almeida
    Scott d'Almeidaalmost 5 years ago


  • traveller
    travelleralmost 5 years ago

    Thats about as mad as it gets mate.

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